If the 45's were pitched up with energy driven DJ's and some awesome jingle package I would be a fan
Leave the pitch as nature intended. If you want your music "pitched up," listen to the Chipmunks.
Most of the Top 40's of the late 60's and earlier 70s' pitched up the music; that's how we first heard it. I find stations that don't recognize this fact sound somewhat draggy.
The other side of that coin: stations that "pitch up" the music sound too "chipmunky" for me.
You've been listening to FM too long
KTNQ was known to pitch up their records in the late 70's and that didn't hurt ratings against pwerhouse KHJ? Rich Brother Robin, Bill Lee, Jack Armstrong, etc. All those high energy jocks pitched up the 45's. I think your overstating the pitch. You would have to go above 2% before the record would sound over pitched IMO.
I know I'm about 6 weeks late to this thread, but KTNQ came in third in a 3-way AM Top 40 race (KHJ, KTNQ and KFI).
I doubt that pitching the records was the deciding factor (though KTNQ ran very fast because KHJ was subtly pitching their music from 1974 until John Sebastian arrived in January of 1978 and KTNQ had to juice it even more), but it is worth noting that the ultimate winner, KFI, played 45s at 45. And the real winner, KMET, which went to 3rd while the AMs battled to stay in the top 10, played their 33 and 1/3rds at 33 and 1/3.
Also, the jocks didn't pitch the records...the PD did. And Bill Lee was brilliant, but was never at KTNQ, or in Los Angeles, for that matter. He and Armstrong worked together at KFRC, San Francisco (which didn't pitch its music) in the early 80s.